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Protecting indoor health

We’re often asked the question “Is Black Mould a problem?”

The answer from our CEO, Phil Edwards

 

“Well, it depends on YOU…

 

With over 35 years experience and thousands of mould problems successfully remediated following Fire, Storm and Water Damage on residential and commercial projects in the UK and USA, I've pretty much seen it all. From a small water leak at a property in Berkshire, resulting in mould growth of less than 30 cm² that caused severe respiratory issues for a young married man, to an entire house in central Utah, covered floor to ceiling with black mould and an 80 year old lady, who had lived there her entire life with hardly a day of sickness. 

 

The questions you should really ask are:

  • If I see mould what should I do?

  • If I feel unwell at home or work but nowhere else, is there a mould / indoor air quality issue that requires investigation?

  • Is this something I can treat myself or should I call in an expert?

 

Visible mould in an indoor environment is a strong indicator of either a previous or ongoing water intrusion. Moulds are ubiquitous, which means they can be found everywhere; it’s natures way of recycling waste materials but issues arise when the amount of mould in an indoor space increases exponentially and has an effect on the building fabric and the human body. 

 

I never recall having any mould/allergen/pollen related issues myself as a younger man but about 15 years ago, I recognised significant respiratory symptoms when being in areas with high levels of microbial activity. Despite wearing the best quality PPE and respiratory protection when performing mould surveys and mould remediation, there have been numerous situations where no visible mould was present, I wasn’t wearing any PPE and I was exposed to higher levels of invisible contaminants than my body could tolerate and I ended up wheezing and had to grab my respirator. So just because you can’t see mould doesn’t mean it isn’t present.

 

I know firsthand how lethargic and painful the inflammatory response to mould over-exposure can be, so at WHITE KNIGHT we’re genuinely interested in helping YOU to improve your living conditions and hopefully this has a positive impact on your health too. Long term damage to property by moulds and fungi can lead to tens of thousands of pounds of structural damage, which may not be covered by property insurance and with unknown health risks and associated costs you really don’t want to take any chances. 

 

Mould remediation doesn’t typically run into tens of thousands of pounds but it can still be very expensive.

 

You should consider the following:

  • Initial survey / inspection / invasive investigation / report fees (anything from £95 to £1495)

  • Surface swab and laboratory surface bulk sampling / air-sampling / spore count analysis to establish baseline levels of contamination or identify the mould species (from £10 to £325 per sample)

  • Advanced air sampling and possible Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) analysis (POA)

  • Engineering controls and specialist equipment to prevent exposure to you and cross-contamination 

  • Remediation costs by our IICRC WRT/ASD/AMRT certified decontamination specialists to remove all affected materials (from £995/day)

  • PPE and PAPR systems to protect our engineers

  • Controlled materials waste management, removal and disposal  

  • Environmental deep clean (£275 / room)

  • SteraMist air and surface decontamination treatment (from £3.95 to £9.95 /m²)

  • Clearance validation sampling post remediation (£125 / sample - min 2 samples)

  • The reinstatement works by your preferred contractor

 

All this can sound very frightening but our aim is to take the fear out of the situation. With our commitment to longterm risk management and ongoing support we are trusted by Home Owners, Property Managers, Surveyors and Insurers to deliver a common sense decontamination action plan and a value for money solution.

 

Let our experienced team guide you through the steps we follow to ensure compliance with BSI PAS64:2013, HSE, COSHH, WHO and internationally recognised standards of duty of care to protect the health and well-being of people and to protect the environment with our non-toxic, green, environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions.”

Our 5 STEP Mould Program

STEP 1 - THE PHONE CONSULTATION

  • A 10 minute appointment by phone with Phil at no cost to yourself 

  • Phil has worked in the mould decontamination industry for over 35 years, is a master restorer, certified home inspector, Indoor Air Quality consultant, mould  remediation expert and has a wealth of experience to advise you on your particular situation

  • Phil will establish if you need our help or if it’s something you can fix yourself

 

STEP 2 - THE INSPECTION SURVEY 

  • The aim of the survey is to identify any building / construction defects internally or externally and to determine any source(s) of water ingress current or historic that may be contributing to your poor health, illness or visible mould growth

  • A full moisture survey of walls, floors and ceilings

  • Measurement of air moisture levels and temperature to establish mould growth potential 

  • Thermography survey to assess possible damp areas from water ingress, condensation or missing insulation

  • Indoor air quality analysis - 6 Channel particulate sampling to indicate airborne particulate contamination levels

  • HYGIENA ATP surface swab samples (analysed on-site) to identify areas of highest risk for biological amplification

  • MYCOMETER®-SURFACE biomass sampling (additional laboratory fees apply)

  • AIR-O-CELL sampling (additional laboratory fees apply)

  • Allow 1-4 hours on-site 

  • A full environmental report follows detailing the issues identified, conclusions and recommendations

  • Where the results are inconclusive a second “intrusive survey” may be required to establish biological growth that may be hidden in void spaces or behind installed furniture, etc.

  • If you wish to proceed with our recommended remediation solution we will be pleased to provide an estimate and our availability  

 

STEP 3 - THE REMEDIATION PROCESS

  • WHITE KNIGHT will compile comprehensive risk assessment and method statement documentation 

  • Your project manager will provide a detailed scope of works

  • Agree a start date and anticipated completion date (subject to any additional issues identified when invasive works commence)

  • Install engineering controls and erect critical barriers to prevent cross-contamination from the contaminated area. 

  • Install Negative Pressure Units to control airborne contamination outside the affected areas

  • Install HEPA 500 air scrubbers in the affected work areas to clean the ambient air during strip-out works

  • WHITE KNIGHT engineers follow a strict PPE donning/doffing protocol including the use of 3M PAPR respiratory protection systems

  • Remediate all microbial activity per the agreed scope of works to include:

    • Cleaning off hard surfaces with HEPA vacuum systems

    • Carefully removing affected porous structural materials 

  • Provide change orders to the scope of works if additional issues are identified that will take more time and/or incur additional costs

  • Perform ongoing Indoor air quality analysis - 6 Channel particulate sampling

 

STEP 4 - THE ENVIRONMENTAL CLEAN UP

  • First phase HEPA Vacuum all surfaces inside the affected area

  • Wipe down and treat all surfaces with non-toxic anti-microbial solutions, rinse and allow to dry

  • Second phase HEPA Vacuum all surfaces inside the affected area and areas immediately outside the containment area

  • SteraMist application to knockdown all VOC’s and provide additional protection to surfaces and the surrounding air (SteraMist will also penetrate the fabric of the building to kill bacteria and deactivate pathogens in hidden / void spaces)

 

STEP 5 - THE LABORATORY VALIDATION

  • MYCOMETER®-AIR biomass sampling is performed to confirm that all airborne fungal contamination has been removed 

  • AIR-O-CELL cassette air sampling can be used to compare pre and post remediation spore concentrations 

  • HYGIENA MicroSnap™ TVC Swab sampling delivers same-day TVC test results, giving you the advantage of knowing microbial levels on the same day samples are collected. The test uses a novel bio-luminogenic test reaction that generates light when enzymes that are characteristic of viable bacteria react with substrates to produce light. The light generating signal is then quantified with the EnSURE™ luminometer

 

 

GLOSSARY OF SAMPLING PROTOCOLS

 

MYCOMETER®-SURFACE BIOMASS SAMPLING

Mycometer®-surface is a versatile analytical tool for testing surfaces and bulk materials for mould contamination. This US-EPA verified technology (2011) has been developed by research mycologists at the University of Copenhagen in collaboration with building inspectors and mould remediation specialists.

ADVANTAGE

  • Mycometer®-surface measures spores, hyphae, fragments and can even measure non-viable cells

  • A mandatory user certification course ensures that all persons are trained in accordance with the specified test method procedures

  • Mycometer®-surface interpretation criteria differentiates mould growth, atypical surfaces and normal or clean surfaces

 

 

MYCOMETER®-AIR BIOMASS SAMPLING

In assessed high risk areas aggressive Mycometer®-air sampling is used to identify the loading of spores, hyphae, fragments and particulates in the entire space by creating a vortex that pulls all settled particulates into the ambient air.

ADVANTAGE 

  • Mycometer®-air is the only US-EPA verified rapid method for quantifying airborne fungal biomass 

  • High reproducibility (<10% RSD) in the methodology 

  • The Mycometer®-air test is verified by US-EPA 

  • Objective analysis free from subjective evaluation 

  • Elimination of high short term variability with a standardised aggressive sampling protocol 

  • Aggressive Post Remediation sampling (similar to that used for asbestos) gives the best possible results for confident project clearance

  • Low chance of false negatives when using the aggressive sampling protocol

 

AIR-O-CELL AIR SAMPLING  

In assessed high risk areas AIR-O-CELL cassette air sampling can be performed to identify different mould species and offers guidance to the inspector on any biological amplification issues and the likely source.

ADVANTAGE

  • Laboratory analysis provides a spore count of each genera identified 

  • Allows the inspector to look for certain marker spores that are indicative of a water damage issue

HYGIENA ULTRASNAP™ ATP SURFACE SAMPLING

UltraSnap™ ATP swab sampling detects Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) which is the energy molecule found in all living things, making it a perfect indicator when trying to determine if a surface is clean or not. ATP testing is widely performed in healthcare and food production facilities, to ensure that biofilms are not developing on the surface that could affect health or quality.

ADVANTAGE

  • Following an ATP hygiene monitoring protocol provides information on the level of contamination in seconds

  • ATP is brought into contact with Hygiena's unique liquid-stable reagent in the test device, light is then emitted in direct proportion to the amount of ATP present in the sample

HYGIENA MICROSNAP™ TVC SURFACE SAMPLING

MicroSnap™ TVC swab sampling delivers total viable count test results after just 7 hours of incubation, giving rapid actionable data. The test uses a novel bio-luminogenic test reaction that generates light when enzymes that are characteristic of viable bacteria react with substrates to produce light. When MicroSnap TVC detects the specific microorganism the light generating signal emitted is then quantified and measured with the EnSURE TOUCH™ luminometer.

ADVANTAGE

  • Traditional laboratory plating methods utilise colony counting techniques to determine CFU levels that take several days

  • MicroSnap technology derives equivalent CFU values using light detection in 7 hours not days

  • Detects Gram Positive and Negative bacteria including E. coli, Listeria, Shigella, Vibrio, Bacillus, Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas known to produce endotoxins and biotoxins

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© 2020 White Knight Service Group Ltd

01536 682300

helpdesk@wkdr.co.uk

Production Facility:

Corby Innovation Hub

Bangrave Road South

Corby, Northants NN17 1NN

Registered Office:

71-75 Shelton Street

Covent Garden

London WC2H 9JQ